The Benefits of Play

As we begin to dive into this month’s habit, Play and Create, let’s take a moment to first explore some of the benefits of play. In Chapter 10 of Onward, Elena Aguilar shares the following:

  • Play relieves stress.
  • Play improves relationships.
  • Play improves brain function.
  • Play stimulates the mind and boosts creativity.
  • Play keeps us feeling young and energetic.

When was the last time you played? As Elena shares, play by definition is something we do because it is fun and not because it helps us reach a goal. So think about that for a moment, and I ask the question again, when was the last time you played? Unfortunately for most of us it has been way too long since we engaged in an activity and were unattached to outcome. Most of us would probably say that we didn’t have time for play.

As a mom of two teenagers, I often have conversations with other moms about how raising our kids now is so different than when we were growing up. We have over-scheduled our kids’ lives and we have left no time for play. Even think of the idea of a play date…there is probably some goal attached…to socialize your little one, to teach her to share, to have more adult conversations, and so on.

So challenge yourself this month to add in time to play. And read Stuart Brown’s book, Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul. Go Play!